The Owls played host to Pasadena City College and behind a dominate pitching performance Citrus came out with a 7-1 victory. (Mercedes DeGuchy/Clarion)
The Citrus College Owls (6-6-1) pitching staff came into today’s game against Pasadena City College (3-8) giving up 12 runs during their current three-game losing streak.
Today they gave up a total of one in their 7-1 victory over the Lancers.
With conference play coming up next week, head coach Steve Gomez sent sophomore lefty Ryan Ponder to the hill.
Ponder only went 2.2 innings, giving up three hits and one earned run, but grabbing the win in the process.
“We needed to get a sixth pitcher going,” said Gomez. “We thought he would be the guy, we would love to have a left hander up there and he pitches very well.”
Gomez used four pitchers in the game and he has plans for those four to be his “core” pitchers heading into conference play.
Although the Citrus offense put up seven runs, it was partly due to the fact that the Lancers had a rough day defensively out in the diamond.
“We were a little anemic offensively,” said Gomez. “They also made some errors which helped us out.”
Sean Patton (2.1 IP, 4 H,) Conlan McKenzie (2 IP, 1 H) and Nicholas Sergi (2 IP 1 H) followed Ponder and kept the Lancers’ offense at bay.
Patton and McKenzie came into the game with a one run cushion, but were able to keep calm under the pressure of a one run ballgame.
“I like to keep my head straight and focus,” said McKenzie. “I try not to worry about if I let guys on or not and just stay focused.
When Sergi took the mound with a four-run cushion he was able to pitch with a bit of freedom knowing he had some runs to give.
“When you’re ahead your approach doesn’t change,” said Sergi. “I’m not trying to do anything extra, I’m just trying to do my best to give my team a chance to win.”
While the story of the game was the pitching of the Owls, designated hitter Jonathan Ayala and second baseman Mark Segat drove in two runs each.
The Owls will now move onto conference play when they host Bakersfield next Tue. at 2 PM.